Career Advice

First Jobs and Career Advice from Adobe’s Leadership Team

October 28, 2019

All storied careers start somewhere! From snow shoveling to Vice President, we asked members of Adobe’s Executive Leadership team to tell us about their first job or internship and the best career advice they’ve ever received. Get ready to be inspired!

Scott Belsky, Chief Product Officer and EVP, Creative Cloud

What was your first job or internship?

My first job was shoveling snow for a local bank and barber shop. Then it was a T-shirt company and online apparel distribution business in high school.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Your career is 100% your responsibility. When reconciling your aspirations or identifying your obstacles, owning them is your best move.

Ann Lewnes, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer

What was your first job or internship?

For my first job, I was a receptionist at a motorcycle dealership (my uncle’s) in NYC during part of the summer when I was in high school — 59th and 10th Avenue.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

One of my first bosses told me, “Ann, you can’t go to the mat for everything,” and that’s been a life lesson for me. I’ve had to learn how to focus my energy on the most important things and put “critical mass” behind those.

Dana Rao, EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

What was your first job or internship?

My first job was manning the chicken fryer at Roy Rogers. My first internship was working as an electrical engineering intern for GE Astrospace doing research on whether Tantalum Nitride resistors would survive the stress of space.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

From Janet Reno, early in my career. She asked me, “What is the right thing to do?” The moral and ethical questions and answers are always the most important.

Donna Morris, Chief Human Resources Officer and EVP, Employee Experience

What was your first job or internship?

My first job was as a pension and benefit administrator in HR at the City of Ottawa.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Early in my career, one of my managers shared that in speaking to those more senior in the organization, I should consider the key messages I was trying to impart and packaged this advice in the quote, “Be brief. Be brilliant. Be gone.”

Matt Thompson, EVP, Worldwide Field Operations

What was your first job or internship?

I was the french fry guy at McDonald’s.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Execute on the job you’re in. That’s the secret to opening up opportunities to advance.

Bryan Lamkin, EVP and GM, Digital Media

What was your first job or internship?

My first job ever was editorial, news, and advertisiting platform distribution (or a newspaper boy). My first job out of college was as a software localization manager.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Pursue something that you love that serves a global customer base.

Interested in more career advice? Visit our career advice page!